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Downtown restaurant passes inspection after mask violation citation

  • GEORGE F. LEE / [email protected]OM

    Doner Shack owner Donald Moriarty stands outside his South Pauahi Street restaurant after being issued a red “Closed” placard by the State Deptartment of Health for a face-mask violation.

A downtown Honolulu restaurant recently issued a red “Closed” placard from the state Department of Health for a face mask violation has been reissued a green “Pass” placard, department officials said Tuesday.

A Food Safety Branch inspector conducted a reinspection at Doner Shack at 79 S. Pauahi St. on Friday and found the business in compliance with the face mask order.

Peter Oshiro, Environmental Health program manager of the Food Safety Branch, said a reinspection occurs when the owner of a restaurant that has been issued a red placard contacts the department to set up a reinspection.

The Food Safety Branch initially issued a warning letter Jan. 25 after the owner/manager was observed not wearing a face mask or covering during an inspection that took place that day in response to a complaint received by the Health Department regarding alleged face mask violations at the eatery.

The letter stated a follow-up inspection would be conducted and that a repeat violation could result in closure of the establishment to protect public health.

A Jan. 27 inspection revealed the same owner/manager was working without a face covering, resulting in the issuance of a red placard, according to the Health Department.

Issuance of a red placard is considered temporary suspension of a food permit.

Oshiro said the owner, Donald Moriarty, removed the placard from display and “defied our orders” to close the establishment.

Moriarty acknowledged ripping up the red placard and not closing for the two days after it had been issued. He told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser that he also would take down the green placard.

Moriarty added that he did not ask the Health Department to reinstate the green placard.

Although the department reissued the restaurant a green placard Friday following the reinspection, Oshiro said the business could face potential fines for removal of the red placard from display and for the days it operated without a permit prior to the reissuance of the green placard.

A food service establishment is subject to a $2,000 fine for removal of a placard. Refusal to close an establishment that is operating without a food permit can lead to fines of up to $1,000 a day.

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